Communication is one of the most frequent activities we do on a day-to-day basis. You may have felt, as we all have at some time or other, that you were not communicating as well as you would have liked. The goal of this section is to help you assess your skills for discussing your thoughts, feelings, needs and problems.

As you read through this section, you may find that you are already using the kinds of communication discussed. If so, you can rest assured that you are on the right track.

The communication tips in the following sections are useful for everyone in your family, including your family member living with mental illness. Good communication may improve relationships between your family member and his health professionals and family. Mental illness can create additional communication challenges. Even at the best of times it can be difficult to talk about sensitive topics. Sometimes communicating with your family member will be one of the hardest things you do.

Good communication can help to: